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Gibbs does the "Don't give Bush credit on Iraq" two-step

This is damn near embarrassing:

Obama will apparently take credit for withdrawing U.S. troops -- "We are completing a drawdown of almost 100,000 troops that...many did not think was possible," Gibbs said -- but is unlikely to acknowledge any special role played by George W. Bush's troop surge. Gibbs said Obama plans to call Bush before the speech, but through repeated questioning would not admit that the surge played any especially important role in the war's progress.

"Does he believe that President Bush deserves any credit for the surge, laying the groundwork for troop withdrawal?" a reporter asked Gibbs.

"I'd point you to the many comments that the president has made throughout a number of years about the role that increasing the number of our troops has played, just as a Sunni Awakening has played, just as a better political environment has played," Gibbs said. "I think that the president will get a chance to talk about a lot of that."

Later, another reporter tried again. "Does the president believe the surge worked?"

"The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops," Gibbs said. "But again I think it was important -- and the president was criticized for this throughout the campaign -- and that is saying that we were not going to accomplish all of what needed to be done in Iraq simply militarily, that there had to be a political accommodation. We understand, again, that if you look at what happened with the Sunni Awakening, there were a whole host of factors that led us to a point in which the president can make good on his commitment to take almost 100,000 combat troops out of Iraq, to fundamentally change our mission in Iraq, to put the Iraqis in the lead for not just their security but their politics and their future. And I think that's what's ultimately tremendously important."

Later, another question: "Why not give President Bush credit for ordering the surge?"

"Again...I'd be happy to circulate the president's comments that go back to 2007 and go back to 2008 on this," Gibbs said.

The piece does not end well for Obama.


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Comments (30)

No class whatsoever in this... (Below threshold)

No class whatsoever in this White House.
And it starts at the top.

"The president always be... (Below threshold)

"The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops"

Yes. He believed that he would make it worse. He argued against it, several times. This was used as an example of how "smart" he was. Of course, he was 100%, no-kidding, completely wrong, but he has such a long history of that...

Just wait until Obama sees ... (Below threshold)

Just wait until Obama sees the surge in anti-Democrat votes in November.

Arrogance, thy name is Obam... (Below threshold)

Arrogance, thy name is Obama.

The word "I" will figure pr... (Below threshold)

The word "I" will figure prominently tonight. If major problems now develop in Iraq, Barry will shift to the word "they".

How appropriate for Baghdad Bobby Gibbs to be speaking today.

Gibbs' assertion is demonst... (Below threshold)

Gibbs' assertion is demonstrably false:


I've been in PR for 25 years...was a state-level press secretary for part of that...and I wouldn't even hire Gibbs for an entry-level PR slot.

rbBaghdad Bobby fits... (Below threshold)

Baghdad Bobby fits right in, after all, we have an 'entry level' president to go along with him and the rest of this administration. Everyone can now see how an 'affirmative action' appointment plays out on the national stage.

Charles Durning is much mor... (Below threshold)

Charles Durning is much more fun to watch:


Perhaps Gibbs should be retired to the Chicken Ranch.

Gibb's can kiss ass with th... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

Gibb's can kiss ass with the best of em'.

I`m not sure I would want t... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I`m not sure I would want to take too much credit for the efficacy of the surge. The 'relative peace' of Baghdad was as much a consequence of ethnic clensing as anything. From Juan Cole, July 24, 2008..I know.

For the first six months of the troop escalation, high rates of violence continued unabated. That is suspicious. What exactly were US troops doing differently last September ( 2007) , than they were doing in May, (2008) such that there was such a big change? The answer to that question is simply not clear. Note that the troop escalation only brought US force strength up to what it had been in late 2005. In a country of 27 million, 30,000 extra US troops are highly unlikely to have had a really major impact, when they had not before.

As best I can piece it together, what actually seems to have happened was that the escalation troops began by disarming the Sunni Arabs in Baghdad. Once these Sunnis were left helpless, the Shiite militias came in at night and ethnically cleansed them...

So did the "surge" "work"?

The troop escalation in and of itself was probably not that consequential. That the troops were used in new ways by Gen. Petraeus was more important. But their main effect was ironic. They calmed Baghdad down by accidentally turning it into a Shiite city, as Shiite as Isfahan or Tehran, and thus a terrain on which the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement could not hope to fight effectively.

Is old joke: "In Soviet Uni... (Below threshold)

Is old joke: "In Soviet Union, our glorious communist future is inevitable and immutable ... but history cannot be predicted!

It's odd. Over the weekend ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

It's odd. Over the weekend I heard Obama going on about how he had kept his word about withdrawal of combat forces. But the question has to be, did he?

The Status of Forces Agreement was negotiated and signed during the previous administration. The date for withdrawal of combat forces was set in that agreement.

Obama had nothing to do with the negotiations or wording of the Status of Forces Agreement.

Now the man loves to moan about the awful economy he inherited from the previous administration. He keeps telling us how nothing he's done so far has been quite enough to overcome that situation. Any bets on whether or not he'll mention that Status of Forces Agreement tonight and how his administration has contributed nothing other than to abide by it?

The Surge worked.S... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The Surge worked.

Spendulus did not work.

Obama is oblivious to both facts.

anyone got a link to a yout... (Below threshold)

anyone got a link to a youtube video of gibbs dancing this morning? i only caught the audio on the radio this morning of this.

Nixon ended the Vietnam wor... (Below threshold)

Nixon ended the Vietnam wore, GWH Bush kicked Iraq's as in Kuwait, Ronald Reagan defeated the USSR and GW Bush succeeded in Iraq. NO matter what this clown trys to take credit for, it won't work. There is much more information now besides the alphabet networks. A bigger man would own up to the success of another. A small man would steal credit from the work of another. We know where Obama is. ww

A smart leader gives credit... (Below threshold)

A smart leader gives credit where credit is due
A humble leader realizes his/her weakness as well as strengths.
A wise leader takes responsibility.
A good leader wants to elevate all and
a confident leader does not fear his opponent.
An honest leader ... well, you get the gist.

Oops, just read the next en... (Below threshold)

Oops, just read the next entry by Jay Tea and realized there are two which could be added to my list:
courteous and professional

I watched Gibbsie do the Fo... (Below threshold)

I watched Gibbsie do the Fox two step this morning as he dodged the same question directed at him 5 times. He sucks at the job so badly that even a comedian would be better, and more believable.

How about trustworthy, loya... (Below threshold)

How about trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, obedient, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent?

Two points to whomever finds the out of order law first.

obama keeps Gibbs around be... (Below threshold)
jim m:

obama keeps Gibbs around because by comparison to Gibbs he looks competant.

errrrr= thern why did he do... (Below threshold)

errrrr= thern why did he double down in Afghanistan?

Obama is an embarrassment

The Iraq War was an extrava... (Below threshold)

The Iraq War was an extravaganza of waste. Thousands of fine young people died and were wounded and trillions will be spent.

In the end, the Iraqis will continue to be ungrateful and will align with Iran and Syria.

It will be remembered as a bloody folly for the USA.

Praising Bush for the surge would be like praising a drunk driver for hitting the brakes before he wrecked the car.

Wildwillie, your list ignor... (Below threshold)

Wildwillie, your list ignores:

FDR winning WWII,

Truman winning the Korean War,

Nixon's actual *delaying* the end of the Viet Nam war so he could be more easily reelected, resulting in the additional deaths of thousands of US soldiers - and then Nixon's disastrous mismanagement of the exit process, resulting in the US embassy in Saigon being overrun;

Bill Clinton's successful intervention in Boznia, to the acclaim of Europe, achieved without one single US combat death. (Honestly, that's really amazing.)

Also, if you're going to give Ronald Reagan credit for "defeating the USSR" without crediting all the previous administrations following a policy of containment that dates back to Truman, it's hypocritical for you to then credit Bush and not Obama. Ronald Reagan was only continuing the policy of his forebears, the exact same thing you state Obama was doing re: Bush.

So if Obama owes some of the credit for this success with Bush, Reagan should share the credit his credit with previous administrations.

Just keeping it real in historical terms here.

Jim x For one the Korean ... (Below threshold)

Jim x For one the Korean war was not won by anybody, it just ended, FDR was dead before the war ended, and the Viet Nam war was LOST in Washigton, although we did win it on the battle field. Nice try though.

Bill Clinton in Bosnia, th... (Below threshold)

Bill Clinton in Bosnia, then why are we still there, and he was such a coward that he bombed from 25,000 feet killing indiscriminately.

Mission Accomplished....<br... (Below threshold)

Mission Accomplished....
Good job Brownie...

Obama ignored, and continue... (Below threshold)

Obama ignored, and continues to ignore, that the surge was not simply a matter of adding more troops. It was a multi-faceted highly organized campaign. Everything Gibbs said; "...the role that increasing the number of our troops has played, just as a Sunni Awakening has played, just as a better political environment has played..." these were all things accomplished by aspects of the surge.

And it worked.

And Obama is a putz for being such a blatantly dishonest boob about it. He's too deliriously high on himself to even see that everyone knows the surge worked without any help or input from him.

I didn't watch the speech. Couldn't stand it. Did he even give any credit to Petraeus?

epador (19)Oh how ... (Below threshold)

epador (19)

Oh how I remember those 12 points. I only had it drummed into my brain weekly for about six years as a Boy Scout.
(Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, & reverent)

Jim x For one the Korean... (Below threshold)

Jim x For one the Korean war was not won by anybody, it just ended,

It ended with a truce and an orderly withdrawal, with US objectives achieved. That makes it a victory.

FDR was dead before the war ended,

OK, fine. Germany was already defeated and Japan was only a matter of time, but if you want to get technical, then Truman won WWII.

and the Viet Nam war was LOST in Washigton, although we did win it on the battle field. Nice try though.

It was lost, right? Then whether it was lost on the battlefield or in Washington is rather irrelevant - either way it was lost by Nixon.

To be fair to Nixon (a tough thing), it was really lost before it began, because it shouldn't have been started in the first place. And it started with JFK and was kicked into full gear with LBJ and the Tomkin Gulf resolution, which was based on 100% fabrication. To the full-throated approval of majorities in both parties. In other words, this was a fully bipartisan mess.

If we had actually not taken the French's side, then Ho Chih Minh probably wouldn't have gone Communist to get help. And a whole shameful and terrible chapter of history could have been avoided. But, the past is what it is.

Bill Clinton in Bosnia, ... (Below threshold)

Bill Clinton in Bosnia, then why are we still there, and he was such a coward that he bombed from 25,000 feet killing indiscriminately.

We're still in Germany and Japan too.

As for "being a coward", Bush's "shock and awe" bombings killed tens of thousands of people. Do you apply the same standards to Bush? Or do these standards only count towards Democrats?

Put it together. Clinton cared enough about our soldiers that he kept them as far from harm's way as he could and still achieve objectives - which he did.

Bush got us into a completely unnecessary war of choice, in which over 3000 US soldiers have since died - and Bush couldn't even be bothered to read planning reports provided by his **own staff** on how to make things go better. Plans which, if Bush actually enacted, would have saved many lives.

Which was more responsible towards our men and women in uniform, in terms of actual results? You make the call.






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